The internet has been a hotbed of strange and trending challenges for years. And now, a new one has emerged themed around the apparent craziness of Florida.

The newest internet theme to gain momentum has been dubbed the “Florida Man” challenge. It involves people Googling for crazy crime stories out of the state of Florida that occurred on one’s birthday. Those interested can participate by searching "Florida Man" followed by their birthdate. 

USA Today may have found some reasons why it has taken off.

Crime is easy to report in Florida

The first reason is that Florida has few barriers that would prevent reporters from reporting on recent crimes in the state, according to Assistant State Attorney Ryan Butler. This is because the state government’s approach is that “every document is a public record.”

That’s not to say that there are cases that aren’t open, but those are the exception to the rule. 

“A general craziness”

Case and point to this general notion is the 2016 book “OH FLORIDA! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country” by Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman. The book explores the apparent contradictions of the state that gave the country NASCAR, USA Today, and Glenn Beck, and how that has affected the rest of the country.

The idea was also explored by Treasure Coast Newspapers columnist Gil Smart, who said, "There's a general craziness here that's almost palpable." 

Basically, a large number of people in the state come from the rest of the country and are seeking to reinvent themselves under the Florida sun, leading to plenty of odd characters filling the state.

The meme’s popularity

The President of Florida's First Amendment Foundation, Barbara Petersen, says the popularity of the meme has encouraged new “Florida Man” stories to pop up.

She told USA Today, "It's kinda sad, in one sense, that Florida gets such recognition." She also suggested that the tropes behind the meme make the story more interesting and more likely to gain traction.

This encourages a cycle of new stories coming through and creating an apparent myth that, as Petersen points out, is "based in reality, as most myths are."